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Vulnerable Hospitality Workers Receive Meals Through COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund Grants

By July 20, 2020August 7th, 2020COVID-19 Emergency Response Grants, News
The EAD Team prepping meals

The EAD Team prepping meals

The Hospitality sector has been devastated by COVID-19. 100,000’s of workers have been laid off, or had hours drastically cut. Last week we made five more grants from our COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund all targeting the basic needs of these workers, many who aren’t covered by Government support.

The bad news keeps coming for the hospitality sector and along with Melbourne’s second lock down has come business closures with many people’s lives impacted. Treasury estimates released by Prime Minister Scott Morrison forecast 441,000 jobs would be lost in the hospitality sector alone due to COVID-19 and Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows more than a third of Australia accommodation and food services employees lost work between March and April, as COVID-19 restrictions began. Wes Lambert, chief executive of industry peak body Restaurant and Catering Australia (R&CA), says more job losses and venue closures are likely as the year wears on.  “We certainly could see a landscape where anywhere from 10 per cent to 20 per cent of restaurants closed permanently,”

Most workers in hospitality are vulnerable and many have missed out on Government support including temporary vias holders and international students. This is why we have made five grants totalling $10,000 from our COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund supporting community led initiatives, who are providing support direct to thousands of unemployed hospitality workers and other very vulnerable people. Four of these have been set up by restaurateurs.

Through these grants over 8,000 meals and emergency food boxes will be provided by:

  • Attica Soup Project

  • Eat Forward

  • The COVID19 Employee Assistance Directive

  • Plate It Forward

  • ASRC Catering

Preparing Plate It Forward Meals

Preparing Plate It Forward Meals

Through this pandemic we have seen some amazing community responses.  Communities have come together to protect and support vulnerable people and one another.  It’s been uplifting.  However, it also tells us a story of people left behind and purposefully ignored, and people stepping up to fill the gap in support.

Hospitality industry leaders and those connected to the food and restaurant industries have been advocating for, and supporting, people whenever and wherever they can. The advocacy by people such as Dani Valent (Co-organiser at Attica Soup Project) has been outstanding and she wrote this insightful piece in Good Food profiling a number of hospitality workers early on in the pandemic. Once the second lock down had come into place Dani emailed to say thanks and that “today was really heavy at the soup project – more people, more sadness, more need.”

This grant has enabled Dani to provide immediate and practical support to people forgotten in the COVID-19 welfare scheme.

“The Attica Soup Project looks after visa holders in hospitality because the government has not supported them and we know our restaurants don’t run without them. The generous grant from StreetSmart has allowed us to purchase groceries and Myki cards to give to these people, along with the soup that we make each week. We are so grateful for the support.” Dani Valent

Last week photographer Dwi@madecahyana, who is a visa holder from Bali, took these photos at the Attica Soup Project:

A big thanks must go to regular and once off StreetSmart donors who have enabled us to continue to make COVID-19 Emergency Response Grants.  If you would like to support programs such as this please check out our donate page. This is down to you!